For New OC Frank Cignetti, It's About Blending The Best of College, High School and NFL Offenses

A.J. Black

When Frank Cignetti Jr. got the call from his old colleague Jeff Hafley about the open offensive coordinator position, he was ready to listen. The two coaches had a long history together going back to the Dave Wannstedt days at Pittsburgh. They continued to grow to know each other traveling together on the recruiting trail while both working at Rutgers. On those long car rides, Cignetti learned about Hafley, and was impressed with how well the young coach understand all that goes into coaching whether it was scheme, or relating to players. 

Thinking back to their time together and Cignetti made his decision about the Boston College opening. "I believe and I trust Coach Hafley", the new offensive coordinator explained "I want to help him build a championship program". Cignetti sees his new head coach as an authentic, and an unbelievable communicator with both staff and students, who will do special things at Boston College. On top of his relationship with Hafley, Cignetti was attracted to Boston College because of the academics, and working in the city of Boston. 

After Cignetti took the job he started to get a feel for the program. While he hasn't started to work on the offense he liked what he saw as the players started to work with Phil Matucsz and his staff. "(I am) most impressed with our players work and commitment they have put in with strength and conditioning" he told the press on Monday. 

When the new offensive coordinator does eventually get to work, he has has an idea of what he will be bringing to Boston College. He wants to blend the best of NFL, college and high school offenses in his offensive system. He sees each level bringing a certain valuable skill set that will be integral for his offense. From the NFL he wants to bring in their blocking and throwing techniques. From the college and high school levels he likes the RPO (run-pass-option), no huddle and designed quarterback runs. It's his vision to bring these different concepts together and create a "dynamic and explosive" offense at Boston College. 

One of the biggest question marks this offseason has been whether or not transfer quarterback Phil Jurkovec will receive his transfer waiver and be eligible immediately. Cignetti has to have a backup plan, and says the best player in the quarterback room will start, Jurkovec or no Jurkovec.

While Cignetti hasn't looked at last year's tapes, he is really excited about the return of four starters on the offensive line (Tyler Vrabel, Alec Lindstrom, Zion Johnson and Ben Petrula). His offensive system sounds markedly different than Steve Addazio's, but he too puts special emphasis on work of the offensive line. "Offensive line is the personality of the offense" he said explaining that he wants a nasty, physical group up front. Having those returners, will be an advantage for Cignetti's offense.

As he gets to know the team during spring practice it will be all about getting to know his team and players. Cignetti will continue to evaluate his players and find the right spots for them in his system.  He has a history of getting the most out of his players, Rutgers legend Mohamed Sanu went from being an underutilized wide out only catching 44 balls, to 112 his senior year with Cignetti. "Let's try to put everyone in a position to be successful" he concluded, "and win some football games"

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Comments (4)

Sources: Boston College is expected to hire former Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski in an off-field role. Chudzinski also brings extensive experience as a college and NFL OC. He‘ll be used as a veteran resource for first-year coach Jeff Hafley.

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Division I student-athletes in all sports could have the opportunity to compete immediately after transferring one time if a proposed change to waiver guidelines is adopted by the Division I Council this spring, needless to say, this is massive and you have to give a lot of credit to Big Ten ADs for spearheading the push publicly to get the ball rolling faster than it otherwise would have, proposal is officially going forward, athletes in all sports could transfer once and compete immediately. Could be done by this April for upcoming 20-21 season.